Java, the software developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s as a universal operating system for Internet applications, gave NASA a low-cost and easy-to-use option for running Spirit, the robotic rover that rolled onto the planet’s surface on Thursday in search of signs of water and life.
That’s hot. Apparently you can also download a simulation of the same software which uses the actual data that the scientists are using to navigate the rovers with. It’s sort of interesting how much public information is available for this mission compared to past space missions. Or perhaps the major media outlets are just carrying more details than usual?